Following completion of the final phase of its merger with Intercontinental Bank Ghana (IBG), Access Bank Ghana has finally joined the top echelons of the banking industry.

The bigger Access Bank now ranks among the top-seven in the Ghanaian banking industry by most metrics. and is the most capitalised in terms of paid-up capital which stands at GH¢118.3million.

Total assets have soared to GH¢930million and the bank has an expanded customer-base of 150,000, served by 39 branches and 43 ATMs.  The bank is leveraging its geographical network to showcase its expertise in Treasury, Cash Management, Trade Finance and Technology-driven banking solutions.

“The completion of this merger is a very momentous and symbolic occasion for us at Access Bank. Every change we are making is being undertaken with the aim of improving the bank’s operations and the service we provide our customers,” said Akwasi Effah-Adu, Group Head Institutional Banking.

“The conclusion of this merger creates a formidable financial-services franchise with clear market leadership in trade finance and treasury services. The over-150,000 customers will benefit from a harmonised product range that blends the best aspects of both banks’ products.”

The bank has absorbed about 90% of IBG’s employees, who have been offered the right opportunities and environment to excel at all levels in the bank. Access said it does not see the need to terminate anybody’s employment because there are enough jobs for everyone, adding that it’s been keen to ensure no employee of IBG becomes worse-off as a result of the merger.

Managing Director, Dolapo Ogundimu, said: “We are delighted that over 395 out of the total 448 employees of “IBG” have successfully boarded the Access train. This marks a significant milestone in re-shaping the business and accelerating its growth and expansion over the next few years.

“Although all “IBG” employees have been offered job opportunities with no diminution in their terms and conditions of service, we are aware that a few have not accepted the offer and have petitioned the National Labour Commission demanding severance pay.

“Access Bank has maintained a fair, objective and transparent process during the business combination, in line with international best practice. As such, the bank remains committed to working with the Labour Commission and all other relevant bodies to uphold the laws of the land and address any residual issues arising from the merger.”

Mr. Ogundimu further reiterated that “there are enough jobs for everyone and therefore does not see the need to terminate anybody’s employment.  Access Bank has in the course of the entire process been keen to ensure that no employee of IBG is worse-off as a result of the merger.”

The bank completed its rebranding exercise at all the Intercontinental Bank branches across the country, and is currently deploying technology-driven banking solutions to further enhance the quality of service at these locations. Banking hours have also been extended from 4pm to 5pm each day to afford customers more time during the day to transact business.

“Former IBG customers have been migrated onto the Access Bank platform with new account numbers, and we are also deploying technology-driven banking solutions at all our locations to ensure that they enjoy world-class banking services,” said Mr. Effah-Adu.

Access Bank, he said, takes care to ensure that all aspects of its integration processes are fair, objective and transparent. The bank worked closely with Accenture, a global management-consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, during the integration phase to manage the merger processes of both banks — including systems, products and workforce — in line with international best practice.

Speaking on the future, Mr. Effah-Adu said: “I’m very excited by the transformational opportunities that lie ahead for the bank and its employees. Having successfully combined our banking business, we are now ready to pursue an accelerated growth strategy.

“Our financial strength and capacity will allow us to provide more support and assistance to businesses in the corporate and commercial segments of the market — especially in key sectors of the economy such as oil and gas, agriculture, telecommunications, and mining and construction.”

He said the bank’s goal is to become one of the top-five in the industry within the next few years, delivering sustainable banking.

Access Bank Ghana is a subsidiary of Access Bank Plc, one of Nigeria and Africa’s biggest banks. It received its licence to operate in the country in May 2009, and opened its doors to customers a month later.

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